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Observer 1 $ Thursday, April 21, 2011 The Ag assiz Y Harr ison 604.793.9766 45921 Wellington, Chilliwack office: 604.796.4300 | classifieds: 604.796.4300 | & NOTARIES PUBLIC Real Estate Transfers 604.796.2925 newsline: 604.796.4302 MONDAY PAINTERS Fine arts group celebrates 50 years of learning 12 TALKING CRIME TAXES AND WAR Tom Fletcher goes one on one with Stephen Harper 15 INSIDE Opinion . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Mailbag. . . . . . . . . . . 7 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Entertainment . . . . . 12 ClassiďŹ eds . . . . . . . . 17 MARCO D. CEDRONE 3(5621$/,1-85< /$:<(5 7070 Pioneer Ave., Agassiz BC  ZZZFDVFDGHODZFRP JESSICA PETERS / OBSERVER Seabird Chief Clem Seymour greeted MLAs Barry Penner, Mary Polak and John Les to Seabird Island last Monday for a ceremonial signing of a new forest revenue sharing agreement. The new agreement will compensate the band based on actual forestry activity, instead of population. Seabird signs forestry deal First Nations band reworks revenue-sharing agreement with province Jessica Peters THE OBSERVER Seabird Island is the latest First Nations band to enter into a forestry revenue-sharing agreement with province. The agreement was signed on April 11, at a ceremony in the band's gymnasium. Several political figures attended, including Mary Polak, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconcili- ation. The new agreement "is a significant change for First Nations in the forestry sector," she said. "It ensures that revenue from onthe-ground harvesting has a direct benefit on the future development of the Seabird Island community and all First Nations across B.C. who sign onto these agreements." The three-year term replaces an older model agreement, which had become outdated. Sts'ailes (formerly Chehalis) signed a similar agreement late last year. The new agreement in Seabird will translate into a $252,000 initial "bridging payment" from the old term. While a news release from the province stated that the first year of the agreement will put $230,000 into Seabird's coffers in the first year, many at the ceremony believed that the real numbers will be higher. "I am always impressed by the po- tential that exists here," MLA John Les said. "Trees are a renewable resource and (through this agreement) we can now plan economic opportunity for years ahead." He said the forestry sector is starting to rebound, which will result in higher returns. The old Forest and Range Opportunity Agreements were based on population. The new Forestry ConCONTINUED ON 4

April 21, 2011

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